Mariana

2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book told from multiple character POVs: Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

Susanna Kearsley is a fave author of my reading journey. I always find her books to be so interesting and so well-written. I chose this book for this prompt because the story is told from two points of view, Julia’s and Mariana’s…as Julia travels through time to a past life as Mariana. I also chose this book because it’s been on my TBR list for a long time. Also, Kearsley is a Canadian author which I always forget about, so it was great, again, to read content by a Canadian, which I can use for the Canadian Book Challenge!

“The first time Julia Beckett saw Greywethers she was only five, but she knew that it was her house. And now that she’s at last become its owner, she suspects that she was drawn there for a reason.
As if Greywethers were a portal between worlds, she finds herself transported into seventeenth-century England, becoming Mariana, a young woman struggling against danger and treachery, and battling a forbidden love.
Each time Julia travels back, she becomes more enthralled with the past…until she realizes Mariana’s life is threatening to eclipse her own, and she must find a way to lay the past to rest or lose the chance for happiness in her own time.” (Goodreads)

Red 5 gives this book a 4/5!!

*My progress for the Canadian Book Challenge is 19/13!!

 

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The Absent One

2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book set in Scandinavia: The Absent One by Jussi Adler-Olsen

This book takes place in Copenhagen, Denmark, which is a part of Scandinavia. The genre which this book would fall into is Nordic Nori, which is described as a Scandinavian crime fiction which usually has dark storylines. This genre is not one that I particularly enjoy, but for some reason I really enjoy this series thus far. I read the first book last year and was unsure whether I wanted to continue the series. However, this Reading Challenge led me to choose book #2 for this prompt and I was amazed at how interesting it was! I read it in just over 24 hours and I could barely put it down. The main character Carl MØrck is so interesting, and I’m loving the addition of his work partner and now a secretary in this book. Some of the content is disturbing, but I was still able to sleep at night. I’d encourage anyone who is a fan of crime fiction to give this series a try.

“In The Keeper of Lost Causes [book 1], Jussi Adler-Olsen introduced Detective Carl Mørck, a deeply flawed, brilliant detective newly assigned to run Department Q, the home of Copenhagen’s coldest cases. The result wasn’t what Mørck—or readers—expected, but by the opening of Adler-Olsen’s shocking, fast-paced follow-up, Mørck is satisfied with the notion of picking up long-cold leads. So he’s naturally intrigued when a closed case lands on his desk: A brother and sister were brutally murdered two decades earlier, and one of the suspects—part of a group of privileged boarding-school students—confessed and was convicted. But once Mørck reopens the files, it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. Looking into the supposedly solved case leads him to Kimmie, a woman living on the streets, stealing to survive. Kimmie has mastered evading the police, but now they aren’t the only ones looking for her. Because Kimmie has secrets that certain influential individuals would kill to keep buried . . . as well as one of her own that could turn everything on its head.” (Goodreads)

Red 5 gives this book a 3/5!!

Beyond the Kingdoms

2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book by an author whose first and last names start with the same letter: Beyond the Kingdoms by Chris Colfer

I’ve really been enjoying reading this junior fiction series. This book is #4 in the Land of Stories series, twins Alex and Connor travel into the land of fairy tales and discover all sorts of things about themselves and their abilities. The fairy tale cast of characters are entertaining, and Connor is definitely my favourite; he’s got a great personality, he’s funny and he’s quick on his feet . In this book the twins and their friends travel into other works of literature, all the while chasing the Masked Man who is building up an army. A great read for any fans of fairy tales and that world!

“Fairy tales are just the beginning.
The Masked Man is on the loose in the Land of Stories, and it’s up to Alex and Conner Bailey to stop him…except Alex has been thrown off the Fairy Council, and no one will believe they’re in danger.
With only the help of the ragtag group of Goldilocks, Jack, Red Riding Hood, and Mother Goose and her gander, Lester, the Bailey twins discover the Masked Man’s secret scheme: He possesses a powerful magic potion that turns every book it touches into a portal, and he is recruiting an army of literature’s greatest villains!
So begins a race through the magical Land of Oz, the fantastical world of Neverland, the madness of Wonderland, and beyond. Can Alex and Conner catch up to the Masked Man, or will they be one step behind until it’s too late?
Fairy tales and classic stories collide in the fourth adventure in the bestselling Land of Stories series as the twins travel beyond the kingdoms!” (Goodreads)

Red 5 gives this book a 3/5!!

The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag

2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book featuring an amateur detective: The Weed That Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley

This series is a fun discovery that came to me a year or so ago. This is the second novel in the series and I’m really enjoying reading about Flavia de Luce, and her unique character and personality. She makes me laugh and she’s incredibly intelligent! Her relationship with her older sisters is simply entertaining and I can’t get enough of it!

I’m a huge fan of books set in Britain or about Britain or by British authors. I just assumed Alan Bradley was British because he had captured that tone/mood so well. So imagine my surprise to find out he’s Canadian so I could use this book for the Canadian Book Challenge as well as the Popsugar RC.

If you are a fan of the murder mystery genre I’d highly encourage you to pick up the first book in this series and give it a try. The first book is entitled The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. I’ll definitely be continuing to read books in this series.

“Flavia de Luce, a dangerously smart eleven-year-old with a passion for chemistry and a genius for solving murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until beloved puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? Does the madwoman who lives in Gibbet Wood know more than she’s letting on? What about Porson’s charming but erratic assistant? All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s secretly pulling the strings of this dance of death, has our precocious heroine finally gotten in way over her head?” (Goodreads)

Red 5 gives this book a 4/5!!

*My progress for the Canadian Book Challenge is 18/13!!

Before Green Gables

Before Green Gables  by Budge Wilson

What a wonderful and sweet story, this author’s idea of Anne’s life before we meet her in Anne of Green Gables. She’s one of my favourite literary characters, and it was so lovely to have a story to put my imagination to for Anne’s beginnings and what she experienced before she arrived at Green Gables. This is definitely a must-read for ANY fans of the stories of Anne Shirley!! Put it on your TBR (to-be-read) lists as soon as possible!

“Before Green Gables is the story of Anne Shirley’s life before her arrival at Green Gables-a heartwarming tale of a precocious child whose lively imagination and relentless spirit help her to overcome difficult circumstances and of a young girl’s ability to love, learn, and above all, dream.
Published in 1908, L. M. Montgomery’s coming-of-age classic Anne of Green Gables has enchanted generations of readers, both children, and adults. The story of the spunky red-haired orphan from Prince Edward Island is known to millions, and copies of the eight titles in the series have never gone out of print.
But when readers first meet Anne, she is eleven and has just been sent from an orphanage to meet her new family. No one ever learned the events of Anne’s life before she arrived at Green Gables.
Until now.
For the millions of readers who devoured the Green Gables series, Before Green Gables is an irresistible treat; the account of how one of literature’s most beloved heroines became the girl who captivated the world.” (Goodreads)

*My progress for the Canadian Book Challenge is 17/13!!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book featuring an extinct or imaginary creature: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay  by J.K. Rowling

It’s always great to enter into a new story in the world of Harry Potter, and this one was no exception. This was a quick read for me. We meet Dumbledore as a young man, Grindelwald of course, and other characters whom we met in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them. Some interesting revelations in this story! Also fascinating to see Dumbledore in his younger years as a teacher at Hogwarts. That could be an entire book (or series)…Dumbledore’s past and experience as a teacher.

At the end of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald was captured in New York with the help of Newt Scamander. But, making good on his threat, Grindelwald escapes custody and sets about gathering followers, most unsuspecting of his true agenda: to raise pure-blood wizards up to rule over all non-magical beings.
In an effort to thwart Grindelwald’s plans, Albus Dumbledore enlists Newt, his former Hogwarts student, who agrees to help once again, unaware of the dangers that lie ahead. Lines are drawn as love and loyalty are tested, even among the truest friends and family, in an increasingly divided wizarding world.
” (Goodreads)

Red 5 gives this book 3/5!!

A Bridge Across the Ocean

2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A ghost story: A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner

I’ve read one book by this author and really enjoyed her writing and story styles. This was another fascinating historical fiction story which involved spirits or ghosts, but wasn’t a spooky traditional “ghost story.” But it worked for me and this prompt. I think historical fiction is my favourite genre, and I like the added bonus when the story jumps to present day like this one did, it’s always so satisfying when there’s a storyline that spans generations and there’s a question or issue that the present day character is trying to put together or figure out. This book was like that too, and I really enjoyed it. I did correctly predict one piece of the puzzle, which sometimes feels good and sometimes makes me wonder…was it too easy a situation to predict, and could the author have written it differently? In this case, I was okay with my ability to predict an aspect of the story.

“February, 1946. World War Two is over, but the recovery from the most intimate of its horrors has only just begun for Annaliese Lange, a German ballerina desperate to escape her past, and Simone Deveraux, the wronged daughter of a French Resistance spy.
Now the two women are joining hundreds of other European war brides aboard the renowned RMS Queen Mary to cross the Atlantic and be reunited with their American husbands. Their new lives in the United States brightly beckon until their tightly-held secrets are laid bare in their shared stateroom. When the voyage ends at New York Harbor, only one of them will disembark…
Present day. Facing a crossroads in her own life, Brette Caslake visits the famously haunted Queen Mary at the request of an old friend. What she finds will set her on a course to solve a seventy-year-old tragedy that will draw her into the heartaches and triumphs of the courageous war brides and will ultimately lead her to reconsider what she has to sacrifice to achieve her own deepest longings.” (Goodreads)

Red 5 gives this book a 4/5!!